Human beings have understood the healing benefits of heat and sunshine since ancient times. Doctor Niels Ryberg Finsen was actually awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in the mid-nineteenth century for the use of heliotherapy to treat lupus. Sunlight penetration, however, may also be harmful, and this is why sunscreen lotion is also recommended.
Sun UV rays regenerate muscle fibers because of their short wavelength, relax muscles, and reverse musculoskeletal system disorders, such as rheumatism. They stimulate the production of vitamin D, which is important in our bones for healthy calcium levels. All this also benefits our skin, immune system, and nervous system.
I am going to help you with all you need to know about choosing the best sunscreen lotions so you can have a great shopping experience!
What does sunscreen protect me from?
UVC radiation’s high power makes it the most harmful sort, but it will not harm us as it is absorbed by the atmosphere.
This is not the same as the radiation that passes through the atmosphere but also enters our skin: ultraviolet rays of type A and type B (UVA and UVB). We are covered from both by most sunscreen lotions.
The safety factor of the sun relates to its action against UVB rays. Nearly all lotions today, however, support the international recommendation to also protect against UVA radiation, symbolized by the acronyms UVB and UVA, both surrounded by a circle, which means that the lotion provides 1/3 of the defense against UVA rays.
How does sunscreen work?
To escape the damaging action of long sun exposure, sunscreens rely on filters (physical, chemical, and/or biological). Most reliable sunscreens combine two or three of these filters to fight against their weaknesses, considering the peculiarities of each of them.
Physical filters absorb radiation as though they were a mirror and then reflect it. They prevent harmful skin effects in this way. In the case of chemical filters, upon contact with the sun, they become hot. A kit should specify the use of nanoparticles or photo stabilizers to lighten the lotion.
Is it true that sunscreen prevents tanning?
Tanned skin is obtained by the generation or oxidation of melanin, the amount of which is determined by the kind of radiation to which we are exposed. The melanin of the dermis is oxidized by UVA rays and tanning is fast, but it fades just as fast.
Radiation from Type B induces the release of melanin. We’re at risk of getting burned and killing skin cells without adequate protection and moderation. While it delays tanning by using sunscreen lotions, it is much better for our skin and our well-being. There is also no evidence that it interferes with vitamin D development, but taking vitamin D supplements may be a good option if you are concerned about vitamin D deficiency.
When and how much sunscreen do I need?
People prefer to use less than the prescribed amount, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and do not supplement it after 2 hours of swimming in the sea or pool. The goal of the official guideline is 2 gr/cm2, i.e. 30 ml for the entire body and for each time.
The sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before we are exposed to the sun. If we are going to get into the water, it is recommended to use a water-resistant sunscreen. This way, after swimming, we will be safe for 40 more minutes. You must prevent oils or lotions from tanning.
What is the guideline for using sunscreen on children?
KidsHealth.org recommends that sunscreen with a sun protection factor or SPF of at least 30 be added due to the lack of maturity of their skin, but only for babies 6 months and older.
An amount equal to a tablespoon for the forehead, neck, and arms and two tablespoons for the rest of the body should be added. Don’t forget about covering their faces, too.
Children under the age of 6 months should not be exposed to sunlight and should not use sunscreen, as it has a counterproductive effect on the health of babies of this age. They’ve got to wear clothing with long sleeves, caps, and sit in the shade. Look for an SPF of 15 for hands and face if interaction with the sun is inevitable.
The sunscreen you need for your beach vacation must be waterproof. However, there are other factors to consider which include a product that combines high protection and minimal skin irritation. These are the criteria you need:
Between physical and organic filters, ingredients make the difference. Thus, in their sunscreen, non-organic filters use minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. While it is remarkably revolutionary, the reduction of the white trail by using nanoparticles is potentially toxic and must be reported.
Organic filters are based on carbon compounds such as Mexoryl, cinnamates, or benzopenolas, which can be absorbed into the skin in a small percentage and cause intolerance. Although adding materials such as wheat germ oil or shea butter, biological filters are the most natural.
Type of Activity
It may seem clear, but when you have dermatitis, applying sunscreen for a beach day is not the same as using it to go jogging around the area. In this regard, if you want immediate safety and if you have sensitive or allergic skin, the official advice is to go for a sunscreen with more physical filters.
On the other side, if you are going to sweat or be in contact with water, because of its breakdown when in contact with the sun, you can do better with sunscreens in which chemical filters are the primary component. Owing to their lightness and lower oil content, organic filters are also recommended for people with acne or oily skin.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
This refers to the time that your skin stays covered without being burnt by solar radiation. You must multiply the factor by 10 to measure the time, as it is estimated that it normally takes 10 minutes to reveal the first signs of skin damage when unprotected. With waterproof sunscreens, remember to add 40 more minutes to the time, because they cover twice as much time. The sun safety aspect refers to the lack of risk against UVB radiation for skin lesions, although most existing sunscreens also protect against UVA rays.
The color of the face, hair, and eyes dictates the skin phototype and shows the skin’s ability to tan. Six phototypes differ from the palest to the darkest of the complexions.
Sunscreen should also be applied to the darkest skin, as it is less likely to burn, to avoid more damage to the lower layers of the dermis. An SPF of 30 will suffice for a medium-sized phototype. Skin sensitivity is related to the type of photo. In fact, without considering both, it is not possible to prescribe sunscreen.
Sensitivity means that the drier the skin, the more SPF it requires. Physical filters are best in these situations since they are thicker.
If it comes down to personal preference, sunscreen lotion and cream over gels and sprays are suggested by experts. The latter are more likely to leave the skin irritated. For full coverage, people with acne should opt for skin protection with a smooth texture.
Choosing a sunscreen lotion, as you can see, is not a minor thing. Not surprisingly, the risks of anarchic and unrestricted exposure to the sun are not yet well clear to us. Note that not only do burns look horrible, but they also kill skin cells and shed elastin reserves, leaving the skin duller and flaccid.
Now that you know a lot of details about sunscreens, are you ready to get one!
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